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BlackBerry Suing Senior OS Expert to Try to Keep Him From Quitting

NEWS ANALYSIS: Why bring back to a company in serious need of positive energy the guy who probably now hates it most? You really, really need him.

From the annals of That's Not Ideal comes news that BlackBerry sued an executive, Senior Vice President of Software Sebastien Marineau-Mes, to keep him from leaving.

Apple offered Marineau-Mes a position as vice president of Core OS in December, iMore reported March 25, and on Dec. 23 the BlackBerry exec turned in a resignation letter and gave his two months' notice. The glitch in that plan: His contract with BlackBerry required him to provide six months' notice.

So BlackBerry sued.

According to the March 24 ruling from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Marineau-Mes claimed he had "Good Reason" to break the contract. After John Chen became CEO, there were discussions about how Marineau-Mes' role "might ultimately be narrower in scope."

"Such conversations, in my view, would not constitute 'Good Reason,' particularly given the changes that BlackBerry was experiencing," wrote the judge.

He added that Marineau-Mes' contract states that to claim "Good Reason" he had to present his gripes to BlackBerry and give it 15 days to address them. The judge also deemed BlackBerry "entitled to its costs."

All of this doesn't necessarily indicate back-to-work time for Marineau-Mes, to whom BlackBerry has been paying vacation pay since the mess began on Jan. 6. However, wrote the judge, "It is likely that BlackBerry will require his services in the future."

As SVP, Marineau-Mes is responsible for approximately 3,000 employees, including 11 vice presidents and 70 directors, according to the court document.

The state of BlackBerry is such that anyone who thinks the company is a sinking ship has likely already jumped off, and those who think they can save it have jumped on to begin the rescue. How not great would it be to have to reinstate—as the overseer of 3,000 people—someone who tried to jump, was basically called a deadbeat jerk by a court and is now likely really, really not feeling the BlackBerry love?

One imagines that to keep Marineau-Mes on board, BlackBerry would really, really have to be in need of a top-notch software leader (someone, you know, good enough to be hired by Apple). Given news that BlackBerry is at work on OS 10.3—which was recently leaked—it very likely is in need of just such a person.

Nope, not ideal at all.